Sometimes we all need to get away from it all.
And what better way to do it than a country-escape? Somewhere that feels a million miles from home, but isn’t really that far. No flights or passports are involved – just a little cottage in a beautiful part of the British countryside. A place to relax and re-charge your batteries.
My happy place is Pembrokeshire, in Wales. It has all the ingredients for the perfect rural getaway. Let me tell you why…
The coastal path at Pwll Deri
Rugged beauty… Pembrokeshire has some of the most stunning coast in Britain. It’s rugged, but exquisitely beautiful. The colours are so vivid – bright turquoise sea, yellow gorse and rich weathered stone. Every time I see it, it takes my breath away. The best way to enjoy is to walk a section of the coastal path. My favourite bit is the stretch around the lighthouse at Strumble Head.
Or, for sheer variety, you can’t beat the walk between Porthgain and Abereiddy. It’s a three-mile circuit, and you’ll see everything from disused industrial buildings, a breath-taking blue lagoon to fossils on Abereiddy beach.
Beautiful beaches… South Pembrokeshire is where you’ll find the soft, sandy beaches. The bustling town of Tenby has a fantastic beach for families. It’s busy, but there’s plenty of space for everyone. If you’re after something truly magical, head to Manorbier. This beautiful little beach is overlooked by a stunning medieval castle. It’s like something from a fairy tale. The beach gets busy, but it’s worth it.
The beach at Manorbier
Bustling towns… When you’re ready to take a break from the coastal path, Pembrokeshire has lots of busy little towns and villages to explore. St David’s is a tiny city, dominated by its beautiful cathedral. It’s also packed with lovely shops, cafés and restaurants. It’s always busy, but has a lovely, friendly atmosphere. The local deli is a great place to stock up on local food. Newport is also a wonderful place to spend a morning. It has an antique shop, a gallery and the Canteen is a great place for brunch.
The Canteen, Newport
Captivating castles… There are a lot of castles in Pembrokeshire and you must visit at least one. As I mentioned earlier, Manorbier is a fairy tale castle perfect for romantics. For those that like things a little bit more imposing, try Pembroke Castle. It’s fantastically well-preserved and very impressive. For a relaxed family day out, I’d recommend Carew Castle. It’s a great place for kids to run around, and surprisingly relaxing for the adults too, thanks to its tranquil setting.
Manorbier Castle, image via http://manorbiercastle.co.uk/
Ancient history… Medieval castles are just part of the story of Pembrokeshire. There’s so much more to discover. Visiting the ancient burial chambers at Pentre Ifan is a wonderful way to experience this history first hand. It’s a beautiful spot, which you reach by foot or by car. The standing stones are breath-taking and so is the atmosphere. There’s just something about it that feels, well, magical.
Where should you stay?
It doesn’t get much more perfect that a traditional Welsh cottage. I prefer the north of the county as it’s more secluded and rugged. A great place to start your search is with Powell’s Cottage Holidays. They have some beautiful holiday rentals available – whether you’re looking for peace and quiet, a beach, or a bustling town.
Where should you eat?
Porthgain is a great place to head to if you’re hungry. Sample the fish and chips at the Shed, or visit the traditional Sloop Inn. And I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the Welsh ice cream for sale by the green. St David’s also has no shortage of cafés and restaurants.
Sunset at Pwl Deri
Which all adds up to the perfect rural escape. Visit Pembrokeshire and see for yourself!
This was a collaborative post with Original Cottages